Welcome to the Association of Media Practice Academics – or whatever we end up being called. The final name aside, the fact remains that a group of very interesting people who teach (and research) journalism and media practice for a living got together yesterday (July 7th) and decided to create a new body to represent their interests and promote their work……and that’s a big step.
Now the big day is over I can admit that I had some fear that we would be a group of disgruntled (or in, my case, grumpy old) media types complaining that we knew best about all sorts of things and that those ‘academic’ sorts were all just a bit up themselves.
For those who weren’t there let me assure you that it was nothing like that. This was a small but representative group of people proud to be teaching practice based courses and modules, proud to be able to point to real success stories in terms of our students being highly employable, and proud to say we love the areas of ‘media’ we teach and practice.
Yes, there was the odd moan about some of our institutions and perceived unfairness but I defy you to get any group of academics together and avoid that.
At the risk of a Biblical stumble, I’ll venture a little more pride. I was proud that we didn’t point the finger at those responsible for the way we feel about our position within the academy but looked at what we can do to help celebrate all that’s good about practice teaching and to support those who are already involved in or looking at new approaches to research which embrace practice rather than simply tolerating it.
The many colleagues around the country who have expressed support for and interest in AMAP (or whatever we’re called) will shortly be receiving details of the suggested ways forward and aims for the organisation which concluded our discussions at BCU. In the meantime I just wanted pause and reflect on what was achieved at the first Media Practice Academics Conference and how historic an event it may prove to be.